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A reckoning with the way we choose to see and define ourselves, Self-Portrait in Black and White is the searching story of one American family's multigenerational transformation from what is called black to what is assumed to be white. Thomas Chatterton Williams, the son of a "black" father from the segregated South and a "white" mother from the West, spent his whole life believing the dictum that a single drop of "black blood" makes a person black. This was so fundamental to his self-conception that he'd never rigorously reflected on its foundations--but the shock of his experience as the black father of two extremely white-looking children led him to question these long-held convictions.It is not that he has come to believe that he is no longer black or that his kids are white, Williams notes. It is that these categories cannot adequately capture either of them--or anyone else, for that matter. Beautifully written and bound to upset received opinions on race, Self-Portrait in Black and White is an urgent work for our time.
2020 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award 2020 Lillian Smith Book Award Finalist, 2020 Pauli Murray Book Prize For generations, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been essential institutions for the African American community. Their nurturing environments not only provided educational advancement but also catalyzed the Black freedom struggle, forever altering the political destiny of the United States. In this book, Jelani M. Favors offers a history of HBCUs from the 1837 founding of Cheyney State University to the present, told through the lens of how they fostered student activism. Favors chronicles the development and significance of HBCUs through stories from institutions such as Cheyney State University, Tougaloo College, Bennett College, Alabama State University, Jackson State University, Southern University, and North Carolina A&T. He demonstrates how HBCUs became a refuge during the oppression of the Jim Crow era and illustrates the central role their campus communities played during the civil rights and Black Power movements. Throughout this definitive history of how HBCUs became a vital seedbed for politicians, community leaders, reformers, and activists, Favors emphasizes what he calls an unwritten "second curriculum" at HBCUs, one that offered students a grounding in idealism, racial consciousness, and cultural nationalism.
Frustrated with the flood of news articles and opinion pieces that were skeptical of minority students' "imagined" campus microaggressions, Micere Keels, a professor of comparative human development, set out to provide a detailed account of how racial-ethnic identity structures Black and Latinx students' college transition experiences. Tracking a cohort of more than five hundred Black and Latinx students since they enrolled at five historically white colleges and universities in the fall of 2013 Campus Counterspaces finds that these students were not asking to be protected from new ideas. Instead, they relished exposure to new ideas, wanted to be intellectually challenged, and wanted to grow. However, Keels argues, they were asking for access to counterspaces--safe spaces that enable radical growth. They wanted counterspaces where they could go beyond basic conversations about whether racism and discrimination still exist. They wanted time in counterspaces with likeminded others where they could simultaneously validate and challenge stereotypical representations of their marginalized identities and develop new counter narratives of those identities. In this critique of how universities have responded to the challenges these students face, Keels offers a way forward that goes beyond making diversity statements to taking diversity actions.
African American voters are a key demographic to the modern Democratic base, and conventional wisdom has it that there is political cost to racialized "dog whistles," especially for Democratic candidates. However, politicians from both parties and from all racial backgrounds continually appeal to negative racial attitudes for political gain. Challenging what we think we know about race and politics, LaFleur Stephens-Dougan argues that candidates across the racial and political spectrum engage in "racial distancing," or using negative racial appeals to communicate to racially moderate and conservative whites--the overwhelming majority of whites--that they will not disrupt the racial status quo. Race to the Bottom closely examines empirical data on racialized partisan stereotypes to show that engaging in racial distancing through political platforms that do not address the needs of nonwhite communities and charged rhetoric that targets African Americans, immigrants, and others can be politically advantageous. Racialized communication persists as a well-worn campaign strategy because it has real electoral value for both white and black politicians seeking to broaden their coalitions. Stephens-Dougan reveals that claims of racial progress have been overstated as our politicians are incentivized to employ racial prejudices at the expense of the most marginalized in our society.
The past as a building block of a more affirming and hopeful future As early as the eighteenth century, white Americans and Europeans believed that people of African descent could not experience nostalgia. As a result, black lives have been predominately narrated through historical scenes of slavery and oppression. This phenomenon created a missing archive of romantic historical memories. Badia Ahad-Legardy mines literature, visual culture, performance, and culinary arts to form an archive of black historical joy for use by the African-descended. Her analysis reveals how contemporary black artists find more than trauma and subjugation within the historical past. Drawing on contemporary African American culture and recent psychological studies, Ahad-Legardy reveals nostalgia's capacity to produce positive emotions. Afro-nostalgia emerges as an expression of black romantic recollection that creates and inspires good feelings even within our darkest moments.Original and provocative, Afro-Nostalgia offers black historical pleasure as a remedy to contend with the disillusionment of the present and the traumas of the past.
Considering the development and ongoing influence of Black thought From 1900 to the present, people of African descent living in the United States have drawn on homegrown and diasporic minds to create a Black intellectual tradition engaged with ideas on race, racial oppression, and the world. This volume presents essays on the diverse thought behind the fight for racial justice as developed by African American artists and intellectuals; performers and protest activists; institutions and organizations; and educators and religious leaders. By including both women's and men's perspectives from the U.S. and the Diaspora, the essays explore the full landscape of the Black intellectual tradition. Throughout, contributors engage with important ideas ranging from the consideration of gender within the tradition, to intellectual products generated outside the intelligentsia, to the ongoing relationship between thought and concrete effort in the quest for liberation. Expansive in scope and interdisciplinary in practice, The Black Intellectual Tradition delves into the ideas that animated a people's striving for full participation in American life. Contributors: Derrick P. Alridge, Keisha N. Blain, Cornelius L. Bynum, Jeffrey Lamar Coleman, Pero Gaglo Dagbovie, Stephanie Y. Evans, Aaron David Gresson III, Claudrena N. Harold, Leonard Harris, Maurice J. Hobson, La TaSha B. Levy, Layli Maparyan, Zebulon V. Miletsky, R. Baxter Miller, Edward Onaci, Venetria K. Patton, James B. Stewart, and Nikki M. Taylor
A "daring, urgent, and transformative" (Brené Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Dare to Lead) exploration of Black achievement in a white world based on honest, provocative, and moving interviews with Black leaders, scientists, artists, activists, and champions. "I remember the day I realized I couldn't play a white guy as well as a white guy. It felt like a death sentence for my career." When Chad Sanders landed his first job in lily-white Silicon Valley, he quickly concluded that to be successful at work meant playing a certain social game. Each meeting was drenched in white slang and the privileged talk of international travel or folk concerts in San Francisco, which led Chad to believe he needed to emulate whiteness to be successful. So Chad changed. He changed his wardrobe, his behavior, his speech--everything that connected him with his Black identity. And while he finally felt included, he felt awful. So he decided to give up the charade. He reverted to the methods he learned at the dinner table, or at the Black Baptist church where he'd been raised, or at the concrete basketball courts, barbershops, and summertime cookouts. And it paid off. Chad began to land more exciting projects. He earned the respect of his colleagues. Accounting for this turnaround, Chad believes, was something he calls Black Magic, namely resilience, creativity, and confidence forged in his experience navigating America as a Black man. Black Magic has emboldened his every step since, leading him to wonder: Was he alone in this discovery? Were there others who felt the same? In "pulverizing, educational, and inspirational" (Shea Serrano, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Basketball (And Other Things)) essays, Chad dives into his formative experiences to see if they might offer the possibility of discovering or honing this skill. He tests his theory by interviewing Black leaders across industries to get their take on Black Magic. The result is a revelatory and essential book. Black Magic explores Black experiences in predominantly white environments and demonstrates the risks of self-betrayal and the value of being yourself.
Stonewall Book Award Winner * A Time Magazine Best YA Book Of All Time A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender. Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he's navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican--but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, Michael's coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs--and the Black Flamingo is born. Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are--and allow us to shine. "In this uplifting coming-of-age novel told in accessible verse, Atta chronicles the growth and glory of Michael Angeli, a mixed-race kid from London, as he navigates his cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican as well as his emerging sexuality." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
2020 Pura Belpré Honor Book A Junior Library Guild Selection ALSC Notable Children's Book 2020 Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book 2020 Spirit of Texas Reading Program Recommended Title This immersive and beautifully written novel follows the story of Quijana, a girl in pieces. Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong. * Lyrical middle grade debut from author Rebecca Balcárcel * A diverse and family-centered story that resonates with anyone who remembers, or is going through, growing pains * Inclusively embraces real life experiences with biracial, autistic, and gay characters One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. * A wonderful gift for bilingual and bicultural readers, introspective tweens and teens, and parents and educators * Perfect for those who love the heart of Matt de la Peña, the honesty of Meg Medina, and the poetry of Kate DiCamillo * Add it to the shelf with books like We Were Here by Matt de la Peña, Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR 2021 WOMEN'S PRIZE FINALIST "Bennett's tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it's especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison's 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye." --Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal "A story of absolute, universal timelessness ...For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." - Entertainment Weekly From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
Young women perform "Ambiguous" about racial identity